George's 10th Strand (2007); Day Number 1
Now Playing: Well, I'm Back Again: Names
Well, Phil has fixed Maman's computer, and even though she is trying to do five things at once, she says that I have a right to get on with my Projekts, too. So I am back at my 'Puter, and able to type my own Thoughts and 'Pinions as I should be...
Which is Hextercising the Sekond Ammendmint of the Bunny Bill of Rights ("The Bunny Can Say Ennyfing"), which is supported by the Furst Ammendmint ("The Bunny is Allus Right"), all of which is more or less typed out for Hoomins to read onna RIFRAF News web-site. Just click onna link and do your best to keep up.
What I want to talk about is the Giving of Names.
There is an article in today's New York Times by Michael Wines. You can read it here. It is about how people in South Africa name their children after significant events in their lives, rather than pick their chilrens' names from "whut's fashionable" the way hoomins seem to do.
It's like, How Hoomins Pick Names.
The hoomins in the New York Times have names like "Godknows" (he was a sickly child an only God knew if he would survive to become an adult) and "Enough" (the last-born of a large family) that are very logical names - once you know the story behindwhy they were given. Names tell a story. So the story in the New York Times is about Hoomins that have been given names that tell a story.
Well, bunnies have very logical names, too, which is why it is best that Hoomins don't "name" them, but wait for bunnies to tell their hoomin companions their names. You listen for a name, you don't tell a bunny their name. If you are a good listener, you'll find out.
It is very presump-shush of Hoomins to tell us whut our names all-ready are, you know?
Like take Our Missy as a Hextample.
When she arrived at Unkul Michael's, he had been told that her name was "Fuzzy" or "Fluffy" or someFing like that. But he had been around bunnies long enough to know that *that* wasn't her name. And he would have discovered her name if his Housebunny, Kramer, had liked the idea of having another bunny in the house, which he didn't, which is why Unkul Michael axted Maman and Dadda if they had room for her in Our Warren.
Which they did.
So Missy came to live in Our Warren, and Maman said, "We're going to wait for her to tell us her name."
And that was back when Our Warren lived in the Old House, and Belinda was Top Bunny and meHunny was Senior Bun, and before Ms CloverBun was bonded to Beebe-Bunny!! and before I was rescued. In other werds, it was a Long Time Ago, and this is Part of The Lore, as it was told to me by meHunny, Senior Bun of Our Warren. And I am passing this on to you. So please listen.
So Missy was in a Habbytat nextest-store to Belinda Bunny, who was the Top Bun of Our Warren.
And the Furst Nite that Missy was in Our Warren, just after Maman shut off the lights after Salad Time, and it was dark with only the starlight and the streetlights streaming in through the blinds, and the sounds of bunnies munching their Romaine Cups, Belinda Bunny stopped eating her salad and looked over to where Missy was and said "Whut?"
And Missy said, "Who are you?"
And Belinda said, "I am Belinda."
And Missy axted, "Whut's that - Belinda?"
And Belinda answered, "Beautiful. It's my name. Who's you?"
And Missy answered softly, "I miss my mawmie-person, and miss where I was bifore I was heer."
And Belinda axted her, "Where's your mawmie?"
And Missy sed sadly, "I dunno. I miss so much..."
And Belinda sed, "Start frumma Beginning. When you were a Kit. I amma Top Bunny heer anna Nurse Bunny to help you innu Our Warren. Begin atta Beginning and we will find your name."
And Missy began: "I was a kit and then I was in a pet-shop. And then a man took me to a nice Hoomin lady. But she was sik, or not well or sumFing. But she was nice to me and we sat togedder on her bed and she petted me and I made her smile. Then the hoomin man put me inna Cage if I didn't 'sit still'. Then he put me back inna Cage if I got 'big', and I got 'big' and I didn't 'sit still'."
And Belinda said, "It is not your fault. You growed frumma kit to a bunny and that's just Nature. He was a Stoopit Hoomin. Go on, tell us more."
And Missy went on, "Then he took me down sum stairs innu a Dark Room and a cat came to prod me and dogs barked at me and I missed my mawmie-lady who petted me. Then afta I had been down inna Dark Room inna Cage for long while by myself anna'fraid OnAlone, Unkul Michael came to Rescue me and bring me Uppystairs to where there was light and fresh air and most impawtantly, No Catz. But his bunny, Kramer, was usted to being an Only-Bunny and didn't like me habbin his treatz, but I still miss Unkul Michael. And Now I am heer and I miss my hoomin-mawmie and I miss Unkul Michael and I ebben miss Kramer!"
And Belinda said to Missy, "You can tawk to Our Maman, now, and tell her your name."
And Missy sed, "I don't habba name."
And Belinda said, "You are missing ebberybunny so far in your life. Dat issa biggest Fing in your life - dat you are 'missing' alla dis stuff. So your name is pro'bly 'Missing'. And you kin tell dat to Maman."
And Missy looked at Belinda and said, "And your name is 'Belinda' because everyfing in your life is beautiful, wiffa handsum husbun, anna habbytat, and being TopBun and all?"
And Belinda looked severely down her nose at Missy and said shortly, "No. I wassa a Shelter Bunny. Now I gotta Watch Ober Maman anna Rest ob Our Warren. Nuffin' in my life has been particuarly beautiful - only me; I am Belinda."
Anna nextest morning, Missy whiskered softly to Maman as she was changing her wadder-crock. "I am 'Missing'."
And Maman turned to Dadda and said, "Brian, I think this bunny we brought from Michael's has finally told me her name!"
And Dadda, who was leaning over, trying to see something with meHunny sed, "Whut's that, dear?"
And Missy whiskered softly again, "My name is 'Missing'." But because she felt shy and timid, she was being very, very quiet.
And Maman said to Dadda, "I think her name is 'Missy'!"
And Missy looked over at Belinda and Belinda was sitting there in her habbytat along with Hawthorn, and Belinda shifted her weight on all four paws and shrugged.
"Hokay," she said, "Dat's aboud'as good as your gonna get frum her. Bemember, Lagomorphin is only her sekond language."
So you see, naming children for events is not something that is unique to Southern Africa. I believe that it is actually universal. Being a somewhat literary lagomorph, I have looked up our Dadda's and Maman's names, and here is what I have discovered:
Our Dadda's name, if translated from the language of his native Celts, would be "Angelface". Maman says that it fits, but Dadda says only she can see it. Dadda also says ennybunny who tries calling him "Angelface" who is not Maman is looking to try that famous Southern Inkwish Culinary Treat, The Knuckle-Butty (whutebber *that* is...)
Our Maman's name would be "Little-Girl-Named-After-Charlemagne" which would probably be more like "Little Empress" which more or less fits when you Fink about it for a little while, since she was an only child and everything.
And Our Phil means "Horse Lover" which means prob'ly nothing until you bemember that Maman's only love (until she met us bunnies) used to be horses, and she still would love to someday have a pony. And then it makes sense that she would give a name like that to her son, who she hoped would grow up to love animals. And it worked somewhat - Phil has Five Stoopit Catz, all of them Rescues.
So naming conventions amongst Hoomins do not actually vary much at all. In fact, they are very like the conventions observed by Lagomorphs and most other species. Names are Important!
Oh, and "George", well, it means "Farmer", someone who grows. And that is Whut I Do: I am busy Growing 'Tellygint.
-------------------- By George!
Posted by Our Warren
at 12:05 PM EDT